Zika Viral Transmission through Sexual Intercourse Confirmed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the first documented U.S. case of the Zika virus through sexual intercourse. Dallas health officials reported Tuesday that a local resident was infected with the Zika virus by having sexual intercourse with a person who had contracted the disease while traveling in Venezuela. As a result, the CDC now recommends the use of condoms to prevent the spread of the virus; more guidance that is definitive is expected over the next several days.

In addition, the American Red Cross is requesting prospective blood donors to wait at least 28 days if they have traveled in Zika “outbreak” zones including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. On Feb. 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As such, the WHO views the current situation as “potentially requiring a coordinated international response.” The declaration suggests a serious, unusual or unexpected event; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national borders; and may require immediate international action.

Zika virus is transmitted primarily to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Hence, mosquito control and bite prevention remains the best methods for minimizing viral spread.

See also:

ANA Nurse Insider: http://www.nursingworld.org/HomepageCategory/NursingInsider/Zika-Virus-Update.html   and http://www.nursingworld.org/HomepageCategory/NursingInsider/Zika-Virus-What-You-Need-to-Know.html

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

WHO:  http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en/